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In a meeting broadcast on July 17, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin claimed that the Defense Ministry is preparing a response to the "acts of terrorism" which damaged the Crimean Bridge earlier in the day.
Two blasts were reported by Russian media at around 3 a.m. local time, heavily damaging a section of the bridge for road traffic. Russia blamed Ukraine, but Kyiv has not claimed responsibility.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin estimated that it would take until November for the bridge to be fully restored.
Putin also demanded during the meeting that he would receive specific proposals to strengthen the security of the bridge. The bridge was last seriously damaged due to a blast in October 2022, with repairs lasting until February 2023.
The bridge is currently closed for cars and only open for freight traffic. Russian state-controlled news agency RIA Novosti reported that by the early afternoon of July 17, a traffic jam of five kilometers had formed of vehicles leaving Russian-occupied Crimea through occupied Kherson.
Media reports claim that Ukrainian intelligence services carried out the attack on July 17 with drones that travel over the surface of the water.